New group for Jewish teens of color to hang out and ‘smash systems of oppression’

The first Jews Against Marginalization gathering at Mosswood Park in Oakland in July (Photo/Courtesy Rachel Gelman)

“Being with each other as Jews of color is a radical act,” says JYCA East Bay program coordinator Sarah Gladstone.

JYCA, which stands for Jewish Youth for Community Action, is piloting a program called JAM in which Jewish teens of color participate in bonding activities and discussions about their cultural and religious identities. JAM stands for Jews Against Marginalization.

The program is for Jews between the ages 13 and 18 who identify as black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Mizrahi, Sephardic and/or mixed. JAM’s first flyer said the program will allow the teens “to chill, chat and smash systems of oppression.”

“JYCA is a safe space where young people from any walk of life and affiliation with Judaism can come together and be led by adults who care about them,” said Jennifer Esteen, a board member at JYCA, which serves the East Bay and Peninsula from offices in Piedmont and Foster City.

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